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Coming up with fun school break activities for teen or preteen kids can be challenging, especially if you want to do something different than the usual go-tos like arcades, trampoline parks or mall shopping. During midwinter break, I took two creative and curious suburban 15-year-olds on an Art in the City adventure, and perhaps it will inspire you to do something simil…

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We are loathe to say goodbye to summer (especially since spying cinnamon scented pine cones and Halloween candy in the stores). Summer technically ends Sept. 22, yet we begrudgingly acknowledge Labor Day as the unofficial finale. Here are a few fun and food events near and far to keep the good vibrations going. The Chautauqua Food and Film Festival at the Chautauqua …

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Summer means clams. As many as we can get our buttery hands on. Here are some places – from highbrow to low – to get your clam (oyster, shrimp, etc.) fix. Prices could change depending on the market cost. Dos Amigos on The Lake 3800 Hoover Road, Hamburg Bring your best amigo (or amiga) to watch the sunset. Raw clams ($14 dozen/$8 half), oysters ($30/$16) or jum…

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The Taste of Buffalo is just the start. We’ve set the table for the rest of your summerlong eating adventure. Galbani Italian Heritage Festival July 12-15, Outer Harbor; buffaloitalianfestival.com Hot on the heels of the Taste of Buffalo, you know the drill.  Scandinavian Folk Festival July 20 to 22, Jamestown Community College, Jamestown; scandinavianjamestown.or…

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Tiny museums are usually something you visit on vacation. You are excited to discover them when you’re away. At home, you pass them and say that someday, you will visit. Maybe you'll stop in when friends are in town. Maybe -- Just go. These micro-museums, as I found myself calling them, can be magical. They make you feel like a tourist in your own hometown. It does t…

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When five of my friends and I huddled into the small vestibule of the Queen City Escape Room on a recent Thursday night, we had a few questions about what we were getting into. What exactly were we escaping from? Were the walls going to close in on us like in the "Saw" movies? Is anyone here good at math? In due time, over the course of one frenzied hour, we wo…

Food and Drink

The days of museum restaurants being overpriced, gourmet eateries or bland cafeterias are over. Buffalo’s cultural attractions boast affordable and creative food options, ranging from table service to grab-and-go. So, if you find yourself staring down a painting of food while your stomach grumbles, devour some food along with the art. You may even find yourself dining n…

Art

Buffalo’s four seasons have a fairly subjective hierarchy. Fall has its fans, with its changing leaves and football Sundays. Winter is cherished by the ski and oversized sweater-clad community. Summer is the region’s reward for dealing with particular harsh iterations of the other seasons. But spring rarely makes its way to the top of the rankings. Whether because of…

Family

To Buffalo’s Sicilian population, St. Joseph’s Day looms large. For the rest of us, it is something of a mystery. It is sandwiched between two gigantic Western New York party days, St. Patrick’s Day and Dyngus Day, falling on March 19 in 2018. These noisier occasions tend to obscure it. You do not find store aisles devoted to St. Joseph’s Day, as you do for St. Patri…

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One year ago, Joey Nicastro – a curly-haired rocker-turned-neatly gelled lawyer – called his buddy Tom Lillis, a banking executive. The conversation went like this: “It’s always been on my bucket list to have a song that’s taken off nationally,” said Nicastro, a personal-injury attorney with the Buffalo firm Ramos & Ramos. “It was on mine, too — a long time ago,…

Family

There are certain questions that strike fear in the hearts of parents and grandparents: “Can I get a toy?” “Can we listen to KidzBop?” “What else is for dinner?” And, of course, there’s this pearl: “What are we doing over mid-winter break?” Mid-winter break is a far trickier proposition than spring break, which for most schools will run from the end of March into early …

Attractions

We're getting to that time of year again. The time of year when Buffalo starts looking less like a beautiful snow globe and more like a salt-smudged wasteland. Those pretty, cheery Christmas lights are gone. Hawaii and Florida are looking pretty good. Or a Caribbean cruise -- or a Gulf coast getaway, or --- or --- But what if you can't get away? You'll have to enj…